If someone close to you has bipolar disorder, your love and support can make a difference in treatment and recovery. You can help by learning about the illness, offering hope and encouragement, keeping track of symptoms, and being a partner in treatment. But caring for a person with bipolar disorder will take a toll if you neglect your own needs, so it’s important to find a balance between supporting your loved one and taking care of yourself.
Dealing with the highs and lows of bipolar disorder can be difficult – not just for the person suffering from the illness, but also those around them. During a manic episode, family members and close friends may have to cope with reckless behavior, explosive bursts, outrageous demands, and irresponsible decisions. Once the mania has passed, it often falls on them to deal with the consequences also. During episodes of depression, you may have to pick up the slack for a loved one who doesn’t have the energy to meet responsibilities at home or work.
The good news is that most people with bipolar disorder can stabilize their moods with proper treatment, medication, and support—and you can play a significant role in his or her recovery. Often, just having someone to talk to can make all the difference to your loved one’s outlook and motivation.
Here are some other ways you can help a loved one suffering from bipolar disorder:
- Learn More About Bipolar Disorder – Learn everything you can about the symptoms and bipolar disorder treatment options for. The more you know about bipolar disorder, the better equipped you’ll be to help your loved one and keep things in perspective
- Encourage The Person to Get Help – The sooner bipolar disorder treatment is started, the better the prognosis, so urge your loved one to seek professional help right away. Don’t wait to see if the person will get better without treatment
- Be Understanding – Let your friend or family member know that you’re there if he or she needs a sympathetic ear, encouragement, or assistance with treatment. People with bipolar disorder are often reluctant to seek help because they don’t want to feel like a burden to others, so remind the person that you care and that you’ll do whatever you can to help
- Be Patient – Getting better takes time, even when a person is committed to treatment. Don’t expect a quick recovery or a permanent cure. Be patient with the pace of recovery and prepare for setbacks and challenges. Managing bipolar disorder is a lifelong process
If you’re seeking bipolar disorder treatment options for a loved one, our team of medical professionals can provide the care they need. Contact us to set up an appointment.